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22. 1995: Patti LaBelle & Tony Bennett Kick It Indy-Style
This is what happens when you hand Disney the reins. Because the entertainment mega-corp had a new theme-park attraction to plug, millions of viewers were subjected to "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye," a bizarro stunt spectacular starring soul diva Patti LaBelle as a villainous jungle queen and a slightly befuddled Tony Bennett as a swanky nightclub crooner (not exactly a stretch). Jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and the Miami Sound Machine added some culture and class that was promptly washed away by a dude in a fedora not named Harrison Ford trying to steal the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
21. 1997: The Blues Brothers Ride Again
The 1980 Blues Brothers movie is a classic that needed no sequel. The combo of James Belushi and John Goodman can't make up for the absence of late comedian John Belushi, who created this SNL-bit-turned-movie-franchise with Dan Aykroyd back in the '70s, and that made this opening number kind of a bummer. Luckily, Aykroyd and the gang had James Brown waiting in the wings, and he was his usual sweaty hurricane of screeching soul goodness. Brown, the Blues Bros., and ZZ Top closed with the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'," and the bonanza of beards, black suits, and brow sweat just about saved the day.
20. 2000: Disney Starts The 21st Century On A Crappy Note
Once again, Disney was involved, and because the world had just survived the Y2K scare, this was a celebration of global brotherhood featuring Latin pop (Enrique Iglesias and Christina Aguilera), schmaltzy American balladry (Toni Braxton), and the nationless, flavorless song stylings of Phil Collins. Upon watching this halftime show, more than a few viewers returned to those bomb shelters they’d hunkered down in a few weeks earlier.
19. 1998: Smokey & The Temps Deliver Oldies But (Pretty) Goodies
There's always something bittersweet about an oldies revue, but Smokey Robinson and the Temptations sounded pretty darn sweet at this celebration of Motown's 40th anniversary. Give Martha Reeves an A for effort for her lukewarm reading of "Heat Wave," and credit young-ish bucks Queen Latifah and Boyz II Men with nudging things into the '90s. In the end, the entire cast teamed up for a decent "Dancing in the Street," though it’s hard to focus on the music with all those carwash wind-puppet things flapping around in the background.
18. 1996: Diana Ross Keeps Us Hanging On
On a night when "America's team," the Dallas Cowboys, won its third title in four years, one of the country's most enduring soul singers also took a victory lap. The official theme was the 30th anniversary of the Super Bowl, but packed with hits like "You Can't Hurry Love" and "You Keep Me Hanging On," this show was about Diana Ross’ legacy, not the NFL's. Not necessarily the hippest choice in 1996, but Ross was a classy one.